That’s true! God can call us in a surprise. But that’s not because of God who wants to surprise us. Rather, it is because of us. To be sure, everyone is called by God because we are supposed to be like him and to be with him, sharing in his life and in his work.
Insofar as God is concerned, our calling or vocation has already been made from all eternity. But insofar as we are concerned, yes, our vocation can come as a surprise, because we have been ignoring this basic aspect of our life and may have been living a rather colorful life until God’s irrepressible intervention jolts us.
We all need to remind ourselves of this basic truth. All of us have a vocation. We have to sharpen that sense and make it the directing and shaping principle of our life.
Vocation is not only for a few, and for some special part of our life. It is for all of us, since as creatures and children of God, our relation with him is never broken. Our life will always be a life with him, whether we are aware of it or not.
God continues to be with us, and while respecting our freedom always, he calls us to him, for it is him, more than us, who directs and shapes our life. This is the essence of vocation—God calling us to share his life and activity with us, since we are his image and likeness.
Let’s always remember that God created us for a purpose. He did not create us just to leave us on our own. He created us to participate in his life and in his love which is the essence of God.
God can manifest this vocation to us in some dramatic way, often involving drastic changes in the recipients. God can enter into our lives and make his will more felt by us in some special way. Though we cannot help it, we should try our best not to be surprised by these possibilities.
Consider St. Paul, St. Augustine, the apostles themselves, and the patriarchs and prophets like Abraham, Moses, Jonas, Jeremiah, etc. Consider St. Edith Stein, and our very own St. Lorenzo Ruiz and St. Pedro Calungsod.
Their stories are full of drama and suspense. St. Paul received his vocation while on a mad campaign to arrest the early Christians. St. Augustine, though gifted intellectually, had a colourful past. The apostles were mainly simple people, mostly fishermen.
St. Edith was an intelligent Jewish agnostic before her conversion. And our own Filipino saints were catechists doing some domestic work for some priests. All had their defects, and sins, and yet they became and are great saints.
Nothing is impossible with God, and with our trust and faith in him, we can also do what is impossible with God.
We have to feel at home with the idea, nay, the truth that all of us have a vocation. Let’s not play blind and deaf. God’s call is actually quite loud enough. And when we are given a special vocation, let’s not be afraid, but rather go for it at full throttle.
Ok, we may hesitate at first, we can have doubts, but if we are honest, we will soon see there’s nothing to be afraid about. God takes care of everything. All he needs is that we trust him, that we have faith in him, and that we try our best to cooperate.*